The Hero World Challenge, the unofficial US PGA Tour event hosted by Tiger Woods, announced its field for the 2017 competition overnight. And one big name was noticeably absent from the roll call, while another will pique the interest of Australian golf fans.
Woods, who made his return to golf at the Bahamas event last year, was not among the 16 golfers listed in the tournament’s press release. The 14-time Major winner recently said he remains limited in golf activities, and acknowledged the possibility he may never play competitive golf again.
It should be noted that two special exemptions remain open, a slot which Woods used in 2016. Conversely, at this point last year, Woods had already committed to the event (although he did withdraw from the Safeway Open and a Turkey appearance due to “vulnerabilities” in his game). Given the Hero is in eight weeks, and the 41-year-old is only hitting 60-yard shots, it’s a safe bet Woods will watch the tournament from the sidelines.
Not that the Hero is lacking in marquee names. The top four players in the world – Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas – are in the field. Other stars include Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka.
Day will be Bahamas-bound immediately after contesting the Emirates Australian Open in Sydney, while the Hero World Challenge begins on November 30 – the same day that the Australian PGA Championship begins in Day’s home state.